The difference this time was the bike they were showing me was meant to be ridden. The chain of events leading up to the creation of this particular motorcycle went something like this: At the big annual Dealernews motorcycle trade show in Indianapolis last February, Boyko and Motorcyclist editor Mitch Boehm bumped into one another and renewed their yearly discussion about featuring a Cobra-built custom in the magazine's pages. Boyko, it seemed, had a plan: Instead of building another gorgeous, all-show-and-no-go custom destined to be photographed in a studio with fancy lights and maybe a pretty girl draped over the saddle (something Motorcyclist wasn't interested in), he offered to build a hotted-up but rideable custom--something lean and mean and muscley in a way most such specials aren't. He proposed basing the project on Yamaha's hugely functional Road Star Warrior, Motorcyclist's 2002 Cruiser of the Year. Boehm agreed immediately, and the result is the Cobra Superstar featured here. With its fat tires, powerful brakes, sporty suspension and prodigious ability to go, stop and corner, Yamaha's Warrior is very definitely our kind of cruiser. What appears to be a badass boulevard bike is really more of a standard in disguise--a naked bike in drag. The only visual glitch is its massive sportbike-style muffler, which overwhelms the right-side silhouette. That observation wasn't lost on Berg, who said he found the stock bike looked cluttered. "I didn't like all the stuff on it," he said. "The exposed horn and coils, the muffler, all the covers ... I took it apart and put it back together using only the parts it needed." He also wondered why Yamaha would go to all the trouble of making an aluminum frame and so many nice aluminum castings--and then hide them all under a coat of black paint.